It’s been a rough few months, hasn’t it? And, on top of everything else in the world, the news of Ruby Rose’s (Kate Kane) departure from the Arrow-verse hit hard… and it’s even worse.
Yes, that’s right, Ruby Rose has officially exited the Warner Bros. lot in Vancouver, more than likely never to wear Batwoman’s red wig again. But while the news was tough to absorb, the next steps from Arrow-verse officials has only made this turn of events even harsher.
Batwoman season 2 will not be recasting Kate Kane, but will instead see an original character (the Arrow-verse’s annoying specialty) take up the mantle when Kate Kane goes missing, per what we’ve been told about season 2’s new direction from those at The CW.
It’s frustrating that those in charge seem to be missing the point entirely: There is no Batwoman without Kate Kane.
Bringing in “Ryan Wilder” destroys everything ‘Batwoman’ has been built on
What made Batwoman season 1 possibly the best first season of any Arrow-verse show is how grounded the stories were, how every single thing seemed to be done for such a particular reason, and these characters were introduced with such deep and complex relationships between them to truly allow the writers explore the emotional depths of a story.
Bringing in Ryan Wilder to essentially replace Kate Kane will destroy everything that made the show great. Even if, somehow, the characters have a connection to Ryan, it’s not the relationship that they’ve always had with Kate. So why did we bother to watch the series’ first season if all of that is being thrown away to make room for a character that doesn’t deserve the title of Batwoman (more on that later)?
Alice, Batwoman‘s main villain, seems like she’s on-track to being replaced with Scarecrow, who we’re told murdered Ryan’s mother when she was younger. And it’s not surprising, considering the reason Alice was such an incredible, multi-dimensional character is because she is Kate Kane’s twin sister, and that bond cannot even be broken by a decade of torture and a loose grip on humanity.
Alice was, honestly, the saving grace of Batwoman season 1. Her story and arc brought life to the show and made every episode interesting. Losing Alice’s relationship with her twin sister — and greatest foe — is almost as bad as losing Kate all by itself.
And losing Kate makes Alice’s final moments of season 1 moot. Her plan to have Tommy Elliott impersonate Bruce Wayne and get the kryptonite from Wayne Enterprises — for the purpose of hurting Kate — now holds no weight if Kate isn’t there. I’m struggling to find any point to Alice’s season 1 story if Kate isn’t Batwoman, really.
Not to mention the fact that Kate’s relationships with Mary (her step-sister), Luke (her best friend), Jacob (her father), and Sophie (supposedly her endgame love interest) are all gone, too.
The triangle between the sisters, Mary and Alice, pulling for Kate’s attention throughout the season has been my favorite aspect of the show. Though I preferred the dynamic between Kate and Alice, Mary and Kate’s relationship — as they were finally becoming close, becoming sisters, after a decade of being in the same family — was so lovely to watch. We waited almost the entire season for Kate to bring Mary in on what she was doing as Batwoman… and poof, that’s all gone.
Luke and Kate’s partnership was unexpected for both of them, but their bond truly became something special. Since Luke is likely to become Batwing at some point in the future, losing Kate means losing the two becoming even closer friends over their shared in-the-field vigilante experience. Luke and Kate had such faith in each other after such a short time, it’s devastating for that to suddenly be gone.
Jacob’s war on Batwoman is set to lose all of my interest if it continues with Ryan. We’ve seen that before (far too many times). What made this take unique was that it was Kate’s father set to stop and even potentially kill her, if necessary. There was emotional weight to the arc that would have made for a fantastic payoff in the future, once Jacob learned the truth. Who cares about this if Kate’s not the Batwoman he’s hunting?
And for Sophie, losing Kate now limits her role on Batwoman. Though she hadn’t been clued in on Kate’s secret, her role at the Crows, below Jacob Kane as he declared war on Batwoman, was set to put her in a precarious position as she inevitably attempted to bring peace and show Jacob who the real enemy in Gotham is.
As for her relationship with Kate, the love triangle with Julia now means absolutely nothing, and what does Kate’s departure mean for Sophie? Are we supposed to root for her and Ryan to begin to have feelings for one another, particularly after Batwoman season 1 showed us how special the relationship between Kate and Sophie is and will always be?
That doesn’t seem right, but it wouldn’t be fair to Meagan Tandy to diminish her role on the show (or reduce the roles of any of the actors, though I’m most worried about Tandy and Rachel Skarsten) because those in charge could not just simply recast Kate Kane?
For a show that prided itself on focusing on the relationships the other characters had with Kate and writing stories to grow said relationships, this is a shockingly bad decision, as it renders much of the show’s 20 episodes pointless. But there are plenty of other reasons that this is a terrible decision, too.
Kate Kane: TV’s first titular lesbian, Jewish superhero
Putting her relationships on the show aside, losing Kate Kane and watching her be replaced with an original character is a blow.
Kate Kane is Batwoman. Batwoman isn’t a legacy mantle, like Black Canary, and it’s not a role that just any character can step into. Kate is Bruce’s cousin, the villain is her twin sister, and Kate’s background and special training makes her uniquely suited for this role.
As TV’s first titular Jewish lesbian superhero, losing Kate Kane and watching her be treated like she’s replaceable, be recast with an original character, and watching her legacy tarnished feels like a devastating step backward.
If Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin, or Melissa Benoist had chosen to leave after one season, do you think Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, or Kara Zor-El would have been replaced with an original (or any other) character? I highly doubt it. I don’t expect much from the Arrow-verse after almost a decade of various disappointments, but this may be the worst decision those in charge have ever made… and that’s saying a lot.
While Batwoman may not be actively participating in the “Bury Your Gays” TV trope, it still feels like that’s exactly what’s happening, in a way. Even if Kate Kane isn’t being killed off, she’s still being replaced by another character. She’s still being treated like she’s not special, at all, and anyone can just take her place. I want to know why those in charge truly think this is any better.
The Arrow-verse has a nasty habit of treating women like they’re interchangeable, and it’s both sad and infuriating to see that after all of the backlash they’ve received over the years, they’ve learned absolutely nothing.
Kate Kane deserves to be treated better than this. She is Batwoman, no exceptions. Being Batwoman is not the defining aspect of Kate’s character or personality; in fact, Batwoman season 1 only worked because of who Kate is when she’s not wearing the Batsuit.
Bringing in an original character to be Batwoman sends the message that Kate is less important than Batwoman, and that is an absolutely terrible message to send to fans. These characters are special because of their personality, what drives them to be a hero, and their history, not because of a costume they put on.
Maybe they’ll recast Kate Kane later?
It’s a fair possibility, but what would be the point in Ryan Wilder then? We’d be watching Batwoman season 2 focus on a character that they had no plans to keep around, long-term, and there would be no reason for fans to get invested in her story.
It’s unlikely that Ruby Rose will ever return to the Arrow-verse, given that her departure was a mutual decision. Even if Kate was recast, I doubt we’d see her become Batwoman again. It’s certainly possible, but like I said before, what would the point of Ryan Wilder be if that were the case?
A recast should have happened. There should have been no other option. This is going to be another unforgivable Arrow-verse mistakes that drives viewers, including myself, away.
Simply put, without Kate Kane, we’re losing everything that made Batwoman worth watching. I plan on tuning in to see how Batwoman season 2 starts, but I can’t promise this show will hold my interest without Kate Kane. Just recast her!